29 Jun 2017

Anyone who has received or bought our annually, published books knows that I have always included a chronological list of the dearly departed from our community that had past away in the ending Inkwell season (June-June) on the book’s credits pages.  This started with the Inkwell Awards Donation & Results books and then continued with the Sinnott Inking Challenge books.  However, as has been announced, we skipped this year with producing the next Inking Challenge collection, which would’ve been our 6th edition. For that reason, I will post here that list. I never know if these lists are complete as I record what I see and read on social media and that’s not the most-thorough way to handle this.  So please feel free to add any I missed in the comments section.  All subsequent deaths will be mentioned in the 2018 book. The Inkwell Awards offer their sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the recently departed and may they all rest in peace. ~B

  • Alan Mitchell
  • Jack Davis
  • Gaspar Saladino
  • Bob Weinberg
  • Gary Reed
  • Steve Dillon
  • Cory Adams
  • Miguel Ferrer
  • John Watkiss
  • Dan Spiegle
  • John Calnan
  • Jay Lynch
  • Skip Williamson
  • Dave Hunt
  • Bernie Wrightson
  • Oliver Nome
  • Edmund Bagwell
  • Rich Buckler
  • Stacey Aragon
  • Albert Deschesne
  • Mike Chary
  • James Galton
  • Tommy Castillo
19 Nov 2016

DC_Logo_RGB_031816tumblr_mutqi9ard71sr6q3eo1_500

As the mission statement on the banner masthead above says “To Promote and Educate About the Art of Comic Book Inking”. It’s basically what we do and have done now for going on nine years.

We at the Inkwell Awards never shine a poor, public light on any publishers regarding a lack of inker credits and recognition, preferring to keep it all positive and speak in generalities. I and some organization members also work for Marvel & DC and one has to be sure to not go over the line when it comes to a professional, freelance relationship and promoting one’s non-profit mission on the promotion of inking.  But having said all that, I also believe that a publisher should be given kudos when doing a job well-done, from our perspective at least. This article will be somewhat of a high wire act;-)

Between 2000 and 2007 I had some areas of concern about changes regarding inking/inkers from publishers that had to do with inker credits being removed from solicitations, removed from trade or HC collection covers, and not being included under swatches of sample art in handbooks, magazines, special projects, etc.  (There are other areas like the Eisner Awards suddenly removing their voting category for Best Inker after several years of activity, editors skipping the production step of inking in comic books by using Photoshop manipulation of the pencils with cleaning & darkening, and other stuff, all not really applicable to this article.)

From everything I’d been aware of DC Comics had/has kept all traditional credits for inkers in place. Thanks to former committee member Erick Korpi, who had been attending the monthly DC meetings in Manhattan as a guest: he opened up a dialogue with us and the likes of executives Jim Lee, Dan Didio and Mark Chiarello and prompted us to send them Inkwell gift bags (brochure, Joe Sinnott Challenge book, t-shirt) for the next gathering. From there it lead to Jim (and his able assistant Eddy Choi) authorizing and approving our efforts in organizing the spinoff event from the Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge with the JSIC Spotlight on Jim Lee, our first artist for this program. Besides the program being a huge hit in the realm of education about what inkers do, by selling the various original art blueline pages in our auctions, all signed by Jim and the ink artist, they helped us raise just shy of $6000.  No small feat of support!  I hold nothing but praise for the team at DC.

I have done most of my career work at Marvel Comics going on 25 years (and have been a fan/reader since 1976) so I had been very much on top of what the House of Ideas was producing.  I’d like to salute the team in the collections/special projects department for making a bold effort to bring inker credits back to where they had been before the millennium. I had reached out and tried opening up a dialogue with Marvel and I found what I felt was the right time in the summer 2015.  I even offered the department senior editor Jeff Youngquist our services in any way.  It took Jeff a while to reply but considering that many emails sent to editors sink into a black hole or limbo, never to be responded to, he replied three months later with an apology and an honest “no promises” statement. He’d keep it “in mind” and “look into it”.  It was noncommittal but realistic; I’d cross my fingers but not hold my breath.

Later, while working with the collections office for two columns of the Black Panther by Christopher Priest: The Complete Collection (sharing art/design extras, reformatting an afterword, etc.) I again offered our services to Mark Beazley and Jeph York and Jeph and I had some subsequent back-n-forths regarding identifying who inked what.  I even organized an Inkwell “Credits Council” of comic book original art experts for those questions I couldn’t answer and/or to validate my answers.

Recently I finally picked up an item my retailer at Rubber Chicken Comics had been holding for me, The Captain America 75th Anniversary Magazine. Now I don’t pick up every Marvel magazine or handbook or special project (but I do get a lot of Marvel Masterworks editions and several trade collections) so I’m not quite omniscient about all their output.  But this magazine impressed me.  Ten or more years ago, a project like this would have been very different and not in a way the Inkwells would appreciate.  This had inker credits almost everywhere! If that product was representative of what these departments have been producing then we commend them for giving recognition credit where it was due and, at the same time, showing honor and respect towards the art form of inking and it’s artists. Jeff, Mark and Jeph have shown nothing but professionalism and integrity in their words and actions and we’re completely thrilled at La Casa Inkwell. I will be certain to promote them at my annual live awards ceremony at the end of the season in June that I mc at Heroes Con, much like I did about DC at the last ceremony.

3340283

I see promise with both companies and their respective teams.   May they continue to carry the torch high!

Now if only the Eisners will take us up on our repeated offers to help THEM!

(Thanks to Mike Pascale for his assistance)

07 Feb 2016

inkblots-b-620x2502

12674174_10207200869451684_966411551_n

We now have a  Tumblr account to our line-up of social networks! When the Inkwell Awards started out we used to have accounts with MySpace and ComicSpace and even our own forum, but those venues lost popularity so we changed with the times for maximum exposure. Our Facebook (group page and fan page) and Twitter accounts have expanded and thrived over time and members Stacey Aragon and Sarah Covert later added both a YouTube and Google+ account.  (And this doesn’t count our Comicart Fans Gallery maintained by Damon Owens, entry on Wikipedia, eBay Store, and our subsidiary page on DeviantArt, The Inkers Challenge which is maintained by JL Straw.) While Dorian is still in the early stages of designing it please drop in from time to time as he refines the look of the page.

 

shop-cart-icon-clipart-1.jpgAnother huge development is that our Store is (finally) upgraded to modern levels! For years I dreamt of having shopping carts and being able to calculate shipping and payment for online shopping but there was either never the time or tech-skill capabilities, or both. But now that our book line and inventory of products has expanded committee member and the latest website maintenance supervisor Rhys Evans has been working on this option over the past several weeks and as of a few days ago finally completed it.  Please feel free to check it out and browse down the aisles to see if anything catches your fancy to assist us in fundraising.  Let us know if anything doesn’t work proper or if you have any questions.  All we ask is patience as we’re a bare bones operation, meaning that  I’m the cashier, bagger, stocker, manager, heck, I’m the entire crew working in the store…and I only can devote part-time hours– LOL!  But you will hear from me.

I’ll keep you posted about any further social network or website updates.

 

15 Oct 2015

inkblots-b-620x2502

It’s been mentioned from time to time and images have begun appearing on Facebook but some of you may be asking exactly what is the Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight?

It’s an Inkwell Awards spin-off of the popular and successful original Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge that has been an annual event since I introduced it in 2011.  Named and focused on the Inkwell special ambassador and Hall of Fame namesake, Joe Sinnott renders a character in tight pencils and another in loose pencils (breakdowns) and the challenge is for other inkers to interpret his work in ink. This idea has worked on two fronts. First, the artists donate their page, inked over blue lines of the pencils and signed by both Joe and the inker, to the Inkwells and we auction them off on eBay for fundraising. Second, between the event and the subsequent book collection we visually reinforce what the ink artist brings to the table in a ‘before & after’ comparison. The goal meets our mission state about educating what the art form of inking is. The first collection debuted in 2012 and the fifth and latest came out this past June 2015. All are available in our Store (with free signatures by Joe). (more…)

04 Aug 2015

 

inkblots-b-620x2502

RECRUIT, REORGANIZE, REBUILD

On July 6 we reported about the need for Inkwell Awards volunteers and positions sought after an exodus of volunteers.  Season 8 contained several departures, especially in the final 2-3 months prior to the big awards ceremony finale at Heroes Con. Three core committee members stepped down (including the assistant director) and multiple contributors left for reasons that included: simple resignations due to an increased ‘real job’ workload, disappearance, illness, and personal reasons, with a couple of members not departing but needing sabbaticals. So the Help Wanted press release went out this summer and I was happy with the results.  Here is where we stand to date:

(more…)

05 Jul 2015

inkblots-b-620x2502

DSC_0470

I annually discuss the recipients of the Silver Inkwell Awards (formerly the ‘Special Recognition Awards’ before an actual award was named that this year). Sometimes the silver inkwell trophy is given to nomination committee members who’ve served five years as a reward for that hard work. But there weren’t any of those this year. This year it went solely to core committee members who resigned in good standing…and we had three members with this status this season. This is regrettable but it’s life. And this is about celebrating the good they did for our organization.

(more…)

03 Apr 2015

inkblots-b-620x2502

It’s been almost exactly two years since I last ran an Unsung Heroes article (on Larry Dempsey) for my Inkblots column so I’m obviously overdue (former articles were on Michael Netzer & Bob McLeod and Serge LaPointe & PJ Magalhaes).  This time I wanted to give special recognition to our retailer associates who we never want to take for granted.  They have assisted us in two crucial programs, the COMPliments Program and Fundraising. Early on Bob Shaw helped establish our general fundraising system where we not only acquire donations from artists at conventions to auction off on eBay but to purchase at cost the blank cover variant comics that suddenly became the rage at Marvel soon after we started up. We received these from a number of retailers at the time but most-notably Larry Harrison of Harrison’s Comics & Pop Culture, Ernie Pelletier Jr. of Friendly Neighborhood Comics, Jay Pillarella of Rubber Chicken Comics, and Nate Machado from New England Comics.

harrisons

Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

RC_LogoComp-sm

 

NECLogo

 

 

 

 

(more…)

06 Dec 2014

“Legendary Artists Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott Make Comic Book History for the Inkwell Awards”
First Comics News
(December 5, 2014–New Bedford, Massachusetts): For the first time in 44 years, comic book legends Neal Adams and Joe Sinnott have collaborated on a special edition to be auctioned by the non-profit Inkwell Awards (aka “The Inkwells”). The auction will take place in March, 2015.

The two artists contributed their talents to a sketch cover of a Batman #0 comic book. The first and last time they collaborated was on two issues of Thor in 1970.

“We are thrilled beyond belief to have these two living legends work together again on our behalf,” said Bob Almond, Inkwell Awards founder and director. “We originally planned to auction the piece off in December of this year but decided we didn’t want to compete with holiday shopping. By waiting until March, everyone who wants a shot at this piece of history will have time to save for it.”

The piece came about when Inkwell volunteer Joe Goulart approached Adams at the 2014 Connecticut ComiCONN to contribute a donation sketch for the non-profit. Adams then made his own request: He would do so if Inkwell Special Ambassador Joe Sinnott inked it. Sinnott is also the namesake of the charity’s Hall of Fame Award and its annual Inking Challenge event and book collection. Sinnott’s son Mark was contacted and the deal was sealed. Two months later, Joe brought the inked version to the Rhode Island Comic Con for a historic photo with Neal.

The comic book has been professionally graded 9.4 and “slabbed” by the Comic Book Certification Service.
10345772_10205490177523543_3088722359271609709_n

15 Jul 2014

 

inkblots-b-620x2502

 

Silver Inkwells

As I do every year, in my live ceremony speech at Heroes Con I present the Special Recognition Awards for members of the Inkwell team who are leaving the core committee after having served on good standing for at least a year and to those who have made an exceptional accomplishment. Below is an excerpt from my speech which rewards three outstanding team members for their service and contributions to our advocacy: (more…)

31 Aug 2013

inkblots-b-620x2502

 

(Sorry about the sub-title, but I’ve always been a die-hard Avengers fan:-))

Almost every season here at the Inkwell Awards there’s a change of some sort from our team associates, some major and others more minor in their nature.  The latest season that ended in June and the new, sixth one that began this summer, however, was a bigger shake up than usual.  So I figured I should summarize our status for those keeping a roster checklist.

(more…)